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How can we trust that brands are being real about their culture on social media?

By Phoebe Hutton, Social Media Manager

Wiser

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October 14, 2022 | 7 min read

Social media has taken the world by storm. It’s popular, influential and undeniably important for businesses’ employer branding. But how authentic is it? Phoebe Hutton, social media manager at Wiser, considers how employers can be real on social media.

A smartphone on a selfie stick

Social media hasn’t always been the most honest place – but is authenticity the crux of employer branding on social? / Steve Gale via Unsplash

When you peek through a social lens, it can seem like the whole world is living its best life. Personal social media accounts are like Berocca – ‘you, but on a really good day.’ And effervescent.

After all, why would you post photos of what you’re really up to on your day off: lying on the sofa scoffing chocolate? You’ve got much better content in those slick, bronzed beach pics, right?

But more people seem to be flocking to apps such as BeReal, where you only have two minutes to take and upload a photo at random times of the day. Not much time for fakery.

The proof is in the pudding: BeReal now has more than 10 million daily active users.

Employer branding accounts need an authentic approach

When showcasing a company’s culture online, authenticity is key. It helps talent see what they’re getting themselves into and picture themselves working at the company – or not, letting them self-select out.

That’s why so many generation Z job seekers will go straight to video.

TikTok is a great example. It’s set to surpass 1.5 billion users this year, overtaking Google as the world’s most visited site. Other social platforms have jumped on the video bandwagon, with Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook showcasing reels, stories and other ways to post snappy video content.

Video is a unique opportunity to be more authentic on social media than ever. It’s much easier to be real via video than static content.

Why is ‘realness’ so key for your brand identity?

At Wiser, we help brands authentically represent their company life through social platforms, moving away from over-edited boardroom shots and providing an authentic insight into what life is really like there.

Ultimately, authenticity equals trust; 59% of prospective candidates will check a company’s socials before they apply.

In the current market, there are more vacancies than candidates, so they can afford to be fussy about the working cultures they want to be a part of. With plenty of jobs on offer, why should they settle for less than the best?

People want true value from their time at work. On top of a fair wage, they want a strong work-life balance, flexible working and a culture they can get behind. They want meaning and purpose in their work.

Meanwhile, they’re fatigued by marketing jargon and over-curated content. They want messages they can trust. Employers need to prove their claims, and social makes a big impact. Nine in 10 people take a company’s reputation into account before they apply, which can be made or broken on social. A negative reputation can cost companies a further 10% per hire.

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But if you’re investing in employer branding strategies, we’ve seen a 28% reduction in employee turnover. The solution? People trust people.

When employees share messages in authentic ways, it means more to prospective talent. Because people connect with people, not brands. They can see what the business is doing for its people, and how it makes them feel.

How do you build trust?

Empower your people to do the talking.

Employer brand champions (EBCs) are people who share your messaging on social media. This is the future for mega employer branding, leading to authenticity, building the trust of prospective talent and leading to more applications from quality advocates.

LinkedIn and Instagram are top-tier platforms where prospective candidates congregate. These platforms are poised for employer branding success. LinkedIn, especially, is where top EBCs congregate.

The proof is in the numbers

Social media reach increases by a colossal 561% when content is shared by employees over the brand’s official social media channels. If a better mandate for ‘people trust people’ exists, we’d like to see it.

We find our own employer branding content at Wiser performs a whopping seven times better than B2C content. Just saying.

Setting up EBC programs starts with giving your own people a voice. This will enable you to create content that truly ignores the ordinary, while giving a window into life at your company.

Feeling Wiser? We’ve got more where this came from.

Talent Employer Brand Agency Culture

Content by The Drum Network member:

Wiser

Wiser is an award-winning creative & recruitment company combining culture and performance to change the way people think about work.It's a home for people who...

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